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Cold and Flu Care Tips for Seniors

Trees are changing, there’s a nip in the air. Winter is just around the corner, and so is cold and flu season. For most of us, it’s an inconvenience. For the elderly, coming down with the flu can have serious consequences. Their immune systems aren’t as strong as they used to be, so they are more susceptible and affected more severely. Adults aged 65 and older have an increased risk of developing complications, being hospitalized, or dying from influenza.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is estimated that 71%-85% of cold and flu-related deaths in recent years have occurred in people over the age of 65. The agency also states that approximately 54%-70% of related hospitalizations occurred in the same age range.

Therefore, it is important to protect seniors from contracting the flu. How can you help?


Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefit – Do You Qualify?

Did you know that if you are a Veteran (or a surviving spouse), you may be eligible for Aid & Attendance Benefit? If you have never heard of it, you are not alone. The VA estimates that there are currently over 2 million Veterans who could qualify for this benefit, yet only 25% of them may be taking advantage of it.

The VA Aid & Attendance benefit could provide up to 80 hours/month of FREE HOME CARE to help Veterans (and/or their surviving spouse) with Activities of Daily Living (ADL) in their own homes, assisted living or nursing homes.

How do you know if you qualify?


Conversing with an Alzheimer’s Patient

CaregiverHave you ever felt frustrated communicating with a friend or family member who has Alzheimer’s? Well…you are not alone. One common symptom of Alzheimer’s Disease is the increasing difficulty to communicate with others. It starts with the inability to find the right words and as the disease progresses, the person with Alzheimer’s may have difficulty making logical sense and sometimes may revert to a native language. At advanced stages of Alzheimer’s, the person often speaks less and sometimes relies primarily on gestures to communicate.

Therefore, it is extremely important to know how to better communicate with the person suffering from Alzheimer’s during the various stages of the disease.


Recognizing the Signs of Dementia

When you hear the word ‘Dementia’, you might associate it with memory loss.  Yet the disease is much more than that.  Dementia is defined by the Gale Dictionary of Medicine as “…a loss of mental ability severe enough to interfere with normal activities of daily living, lasting more than six months, not present since birth, and not associated with a loss or alteration of consciousness.”

Mental ability declines naturally with age but when memory impairment starts to interfere with at least two activities of daily living (such as Bathing, Dressing, Toileting, Eating or Continence), it is considered dementia.


Distinguishing Different Types of Dementia

Dementia is defined as “a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life.”  Dementia isn’t a disease in itself, but rather a term used to describe a wide variety of symptoms associated with memory impairment and thinking ability.

Symptoms of dementia can vary greatly, but at least two of the following must be significantly impaired to be considered dementia:


Dementia Caregiving During the Holidays

Holidays evoke images of family traditions and celebrations with friends. But for those of you living with family members who suffer from Alzheimer’s and other dementia, the holidays can be challenging. While it is important that you pay attention to these needs, it is just as important to take care of yourself, enjoy the holidays and add some beautiful memories with your loved ones.


Seven Creative Ways to Pay for In-Home Care

Non-medical home care is an ideal solution for many families as their parents age.  However, the challenge often arises of how to pay for that care.  While some seniors may have funds to pay for home care, a lot of seniors struggle to pay for their care at home without any government assistance.

This article addresses some payment options for non-medical home care. This list is not all-inclusive and you can come up with your own creative ways to pay for care at home.


Ten Fun Activities for Seniors

We can’t know for certain what will happen to each of us.  But what we do know is that stimulating the brain and the body are both advantageous and necessary for all of us. Keeping minds sharp, bodies strong and spirits high benefits our overall well-being.

This is especially important for seniors in the early stages of dementia.  Studies have shown that actively using their brain helps keep them alert and oriented much longer.  Thus, they will be less likely to simply sleep or watch television all day and lose memory or mental abilities.

Here are some fun activities you can enjoy with the seniors without tiring them out :) .


Exploring Your Options

With advancements in science and technology, we live longer than ever before.  But as we age, our physical and mental capabilities change. Some of us may require more care than others depending on our mental and physical limitations. Since our needs vary widely, so do the options available to us. There are many levels of care, from casual non-medical in-home care to 24 hours/day nursing care, and the choices can seem overwhelming at times.


The Use of Alternate Therapies in Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s, as defined by the Alzheimer’s Association, is “a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior.” Symptoms, while mild early on, get worse over time, eventually becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.

Sadly, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s.  So treatment focuses on alternative therapies and activities that directly involve the person with Alzheimer’s.  One of the benefits of using these therapies is that they may reduce behavioral symptoms of the disease, including agitation, anger, frustration, depression, wandering or rummaging.

Therapies benefit the patient most when they focus on the person’s previous interests.  This is because they spark memories, thus taking advantage of the person’s remaining skills while minimizing those that are compromised.  Bringing out these memories can also reinforce a person’s sense of belonging in a group, providing friendship and mutual support.